Tube Time for the Candidates

By Karin Caifa in Washington

Not getting enough of the presidential race from network and cable news? You’re in luck. The candidates are out in force, fanning out among some of your favorite afternoon talk shows and late-night fare. Barack Obama popped up on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Wednesday night, where he poked some fun at this week’s “cosmetic controversy.” You know, where Obama compared John McCain’s promise of change to the old metaphor of putting “lipstick on a pig,” and the McCain camp took that as a slap at vice presidential pick Sarah Palin? Letterman asked if Obama had ever tried to apply lipstick to a pig. Obama replied, “The answer would be no. But I think it might be fun to try.”

The ladies of ABC’s “The View,” were a little tougher on John McCain this morning in New York, where the talk also surrounded Sarah Palin. Their couch became a hot seat as questions flew about Palin’s qualifications, and co-host Barbara Walters asked McCain if perhaps he’s gone overboard in calling her “the most marvelous running mate in the history of this nation.” But McCain continued to praise Palin. “As you know and we all know, she’s ignited a spark in America,” he said. “The fact is it’s gotten people engaged. It’s good for America.”

From grilling to… more grilling? After “The View,” McCain scooted a little ways downtown to tape a segment for Rachael Ray‘s cooking show.

And on Saturday, “Live, from New York,” it’s Barack Obama. The Democratic presidential hopeful will make an appearance on the season opener of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Olympic swimming champ Michael Phelps. Show writers may put Obama “head-to-head” with another political superstar — Palin, likely to be played by “SNL” alum Tina Fey who, conveniently, bears a striking resemblance to the Alaska governor. Saturday will mark Obama’s second turn on the long-running sketch show. Last fall, in the heat of his primary battle, he appeared as himself, in a skit about a Halloween party at the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton. McCain appeared on the show’s season finale in May.

Karin Caifa is a political producer with CNN who contributes to this blog via CNN’s Running Mates.

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